USDA Agricultural Research Service --Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Animal Reproduction Science 98 (2007) 204–224. DOI:10.1016/j.anireprosci.2006.02.014


The objective was to compare the relative response between rams and bulls in characteristics of LH, FSH and testosterone (T) secretion, during and after long-term treatment with GnRH analogs. Animals were treated with GnRH agonist, GnRH antagonist, or vehicle (Control) for 28 days. Serial blood samples were collected on day 21 of treatment, and at several intervals after treatment. Injections of natural sequence GnRH were used to evaluate the capacity of the pituitary to release gonadotropins during and after treatment. Treatment with GnRH agonist increased basal LH and T concentrations in both rams and bulls, with a greater relative increase in bulls. Endogenous LH pulses and LH release after administration of GnRH were suppressed during treatment with GnRH agonist. Treatment with GnRH antagonist decreased mean hormone concentrations, LH and T pulse frequency, and the release of LH and T after exogenous GnRH, with greater relative effects in bulls. Rams previously treated with antagonist had a greater release of LH after administration of GnRH compared with control rams, while rams previously treated with agonist showed a reduced LH response. Bulls previously treated with agonist had reduced FSH concentrations and LH pulse amplitudes compared with control bulls while bulls previously treated with antagonist had greater T concentrations and pulse frequency. The present study was the first direct comparison between domestic species of the response in males to treatment with GnRH analogs. The findings demonstrated that differences do occur between rams and bulls in LH, FSH and testosterone secretion during and after treatment. Also, the consequences of treatment with either GnRH analog can persist for a considerable time after discontinuation of treatment.